The province of Ontario has yet to open its online gambling industry to private operators willing to introduce their wide portfolios to the local players. November 5 is about to bring the new budget and operators still have some hopes that online gambling expansion might be among the projects benefiting from it. Changes in the existing online gambling regulation will also be necessary.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is the gaming leader both when it comes to land-based and online gambling within the province. Its online platform olg.ca is the gambling portal many Ontarians used while brick-and-mortar gambling hotspots were closed this year. Lockdown made it crystal clear that online gambling is the way to go nowadays.
The Crown corporation has been working on tis gaming portfolio for years, aiming to make it as diverse as possible. It brings virtual version of its draw-based and instant lottery products, as well as many more offerings. Casino gaming is also quite popular within the gambling platform, as it allows players to feel as if they are at a brick-and-mortar casino while they are at home.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation also offers its own sports section, which makes it possible for players to place wagers on sports events online with the help of the optimized platform. The website recently went through a complete makeover, modernizing its look and simplifying the player experience as a result. This was necessary, as the dynamic situation around the globe and in Canada could mandate second lockdown and the province has to be prepared.
While the corporation is working on solidifying its position in the online gambling field, many people consider it time for online gaming expansion to happen. This Thursday is set to bring the new provincial budget to the table and it is expected to focus on the unprecedented situation. The closure of brick-and-mortar venues across Ontario managed to take its toll on the provincial coffers.
Some gambling operators hope that this budget would also mention online gambling market expansion. It could be recalled that last year, Premier Doug Ford said that establishing a competitive online gambling field is necessary and it should be focused on. Paul Burns, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Gaming Association, said that this will be a step in the right direction.
Many Canadians still gamble online but they make it illegally, facilitating offshore gambling platforms and fueling them with their money. These buy-ins could instead make their way back to their community and to their province. Moreover, Mr. Burns pointed out that player protection while gambling on these websites will also be possible once the online gambling market welcomes more operators.
Projections are that the province of Ontario could amass some gambling revenue of CA$547 million in five years. Danielle Bush, a partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto, projects that the tax on online gambling gross revenue could amount to 18 or 20 percent. This expansion will also make it possible for players to enjoy online single-events sports betting, if next spring brings a green light on the wagering offering.